Black-and-red Broadbill Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos Scientific name definitions

Guy M. Kirwan, Josep del Hoyo, Murray D. Bruce, and Nigel Collar
Version: 2.0 — Published March 12, 2021


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Systematics History

Almost universally treated—like here—as a single species (4, 5, 1, 6, 7, 8, 9). However, taxon affinis was separated as a full species by del Hoyo and Collar (10), on the basis of it being smaller (sample size small, but score 2, following Tobias et al. 11 criteria), with elongate crimson spots on the wings (score 3), much paler red underparts and especially rump, which also has narrow black edging (score 2), small but clear white flash in wing (score 2), and broader white tips to tail (not scored).

Subspecific taxonomy needs further study (12). Peters (4) accepted six subspecies, whereas Medway and Wells (13) and Lambert and Woodcock (1) maintained just four—nominate, affinis, malaccensis, and lemniscatus—in the process rejecting C. m. tenebrosus (14) from southern Sumatra, and siamensis of Indochina south to Peninsular Malaysia (14) on account of an absence of discrete plumage or biometric characters. As hinted by Lambert and Woodcock (1), subspecies lemniscatus of Sumatra is ‘very poorly differentiated,’ and it is synonymized with the nominate subspecies here (8), but siamensis is still recognized.

Geographic Variation

Considerable variation makes drawing accurate subspecific limits rarely possible. In general, size increases, and the amount of white in the tail decreases, from north to south (presumably clinally).



Black-and-red Broadbill (Irrawaddy) Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos affinis Scientific name definitions

Systematics History

Cymbirhynchus affinis Blyth, 1846, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 15:312.—Arakan.


Confined to southwest Myanmar, in the Irrawaddy Delta, Arakan Yomas, and South Arakan, especially on small islands and along the coast (15, 16). Few recent records, making its current status is rather uncertain.


Compared to nominate, smaller (wing length 88–93 mm, versus 96–111 mm), with long crimson spots on the innermost secondary and outer webs of the next two, a more conspicuous white wing spot that extends onto both webs, broader white tail bars (extending to all but the central pair), and is overall paler red on the underparts and rump, the latter feathers of which are narrowly edged black. No other published measurement data.


Black-and-red Broadbill (Black-and-red) Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos [macrorhynchos Group]


Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos siamensis Scientific name definitions

Systematics History

Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos siamensis Meyer de Schauensee and Ripley, 1940, Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences Philadelphia 91:338.— Pram, southwestern Siam.


From Tenasserim (southern Myanmar), northernmost Peninsular Malaysia (Perlis and Phatthalung) and southern Thailand, east into Cambodia, southern Laos, and southern Vietnam.


Very similar to subspecies malaccensis but said to be shorter winged and to have on average more tail feathers tipped white. Measurements: wing of male (n = 20) 97–101 mm; wing of female (n = 25) 91–100 mm (2).


Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos malaccensis Scientific name definitions

Systematics History

Cymbirhynchus malaccensis Salvadori, 1874, Atti della Reale Accademia delle scienze di Torino 9:425.—Malacca.


Endemic to the Thai-Malay Peninsula, from Kedah, Yala, and Narathiwat (in extreme southern Thailand) south; formerly also in Singapore.


Red of plumage is marginally paler than nominate, with some orange-yellow spotting on the belly. White bar on the inner webs of the tail feathers is usually well defined, although sometimes restricted to the outer feathers. Slightly smaller than nominate, but larger than siamensis. Measurements: wing of male (n = 27) 100–105 mm; wing of female (n = 18) 98–102 mm (2).


Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos macrorhynchos Scientific name definitions

Systematics History

Todus macrorhynchos J. F. Gmelin, 1788, Systema Naturae 1(1):446—no locality, but see below.

Gmelin’s name was based upon the ‘Great-billed Tody’ of Latham 1782 (A General Synopsis of Birds, Volume 1(2): 664); some years later, the latter author named it Todus nasutus Latham, 1790 (Index Orn. 1:268). No terra typica was specified; in acting as first revisor, Hartert (17) confirmed that the plate accompanying the name macrorhynchos was a Bornean specimen (the type locality was labelled only as ‘iles de la Sonde’), thereby affording priority to Gmelin’s name (18).


Widespread on Borneo and Sumatra, as well as some of their offshore islands including Bangka, Belitung, and Pulau Laut (1, 19).


Described under Plumages.

Related Species

Collectively, all of the broadbills, including the Neotropical Sapayoidae, the Asian and African Calyptomenidae, and the Malagasy Philepittidae, form a well-supported clade, which is sister to the Pittidae (20, 21), together comprising the Old World suboscine radiation (with Sapoyoa Sapayoa aenigma the sole New World representative). Both just-mentioned studies also found Eurylaimidae (as defined here) to be sister to Philepittidae, and the relationships within the genus to be as follows: Pseudocalyptomena is sister to the remaining Asian genera, which form two main clades, one of which is composed of Cymbirhynchus, Eurylaimus, Sarcophanops, and Serilophus, and the second includes Psarisomus and Corydon (20, 21). In their study, Moyle et al. (21) recovered Black-and-red Broadbill as being most closely related to Silver-breasted Broadbill (Serilophus lunatus), and these two species were sister to the Eurylaimus broadbills.

Fossil History

Nothing known.

Recommended Citation

Kirwan, G. M., J. del Hoyo, M.D. Bruce, and N. Collar (2021). Black-and-red Broadbill (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (M. A. Bridwell and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.barbro1.02